Seattle ranks dead last among AL teams with a .607 OPS from the catcher position and the Mariners will try to fix that glaring weakness by calling up last year’s No. 3 overall pick, Mike Zunino.
As a college star Zunino was always expected to move quickly through the minors and indeed he’s the first position player from the 2012 draft class to reach the majors, but his performance has hardly screamed out for the promotion. He’s shown excellent power with 11 homers and 12 doubles in 47 games at Triple-A, but Zunino hit just .238 with an ugly 59/14 K/BB ratio and .303 on-base percentage in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
He’ll probably be an improvement over what little the Mariners have gotten from their catchers so far, but that isn’t saying much and improving a 28-37 team seemingly shouldn’t take precedence over a 22-year-old top prospect clearly needing to hone some pretty crucial skills. Whatever the case, Zunino is arriving in the majors after just 91 games in the minors and almost exactly one year after being drafted.
Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz hasn’t pitched in a week due to soreness in his left forearm. He threw a bullpen on Thursday afternoon and said, “I definitely feel like I can maybe help (as a reliever in the playoffs,” as ESPN’s Scott Lauber reports.
The Red Sox clinched the AL East on Wednesday, so they don’t need to rush Pomeranz along. And using him out of the bullpen might ultimately be best as he regressed quite a bit after coming to Boston from San Diego in July. In 13 starts with the Red Sox, Pomeranz has a 4.68 ERA with a 69/24 K/BB ratio in 67 1/3 innings.
Eduardo Rodriguez and Clay Buchholz have been throwing the ball quite well as of late. Paired with Rick Porcello and David Price, the Red Sox still have the depth to be menacing in the postseason.
Remember Jesus Montero? The former Yankees and Mariners prospect? Well, he was picked up by the Blue Jays back in March after the Mariners waived him and played 126 games for Triple-A Buffalo this year. That went alright, I suppose, with Montero hitting .317/.349/.438 with 11 homers. He played a bit of first base too, trying to break the mold he’s been stuck in as a 26-year-old DH.
If this season was a platform for him to make one last push to the bigs, the platform was just pulled out from under him: he has been suspended for 50 games after testing positive for dimethylbutylamine (DMBA), a stimulant in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
The minor league season is over, of course, so he’ll serve that suspension next season. Assuming the Jays keep him in the fold.